Garrett Gambill is a Memphis, TN-based professional who works with the clinical team at Advanced Dermatology & Skin Cancer Associates in an assistant medical role. With a particular interest in sports medicine, Garrett Gambill is well-versed in a wide range of orthopedic, neurologic, and dermatologic conditions.
With symptoms of a painful rash, shingle is a unique viral condition that can affect anyone who has chickenpox at a younger age. Caused by the varicella-zoster virus, shingles involve reactivation, often decades later, of the varicella-zoster virus that laid dormant in the nerve tissue surrounding the brain and spinal cord.
The most common manifestation of shingles is a stripe of blisters that wraps around one side of the torso. Alternatively, it can occur on the neck, face, or around an eye. This may be extremely painful and result in postherpetic neuralgia that lingers even after the blisters have cleared away.
Shingles are often associated with weakened immune systems and are most prevalent in adults over age 50. It is contagious and can be passed on to those who haven’t experienced chickenpox through open sores that person will contract chickenpox, not shingles. The positive news is that a Shingrix vaccine is available in the US that effectively safeguards against the virus’ reactivation.